Martin Heidegger - Thinking the Unthinkable

Today's documentary shows the controversial biography of German phenomenologist philosopher Martin Heidegger. Heidegger is a very controversial figure in the philosophy world. Although he is one of the most popular philosophers, especially among college undergraduates, due to his philosophical analysis of authenticity and the relationship of dasein (man) to technology and the world, as well as his analysis of the possible primacy of language (a move I never quite liked that much), his involvement with the Nazi party in Germany during World War II and his unpardonable behavior toward his mentor Edmund Husserl, father of phenomenology, has placed him in a tense and precarious position in the world of ideas and philosophy.

As with Nietzsche's documentary (shown here), this episode concentrates more on the biographical details than with the actual philosophy, so it's hard to get a sense of just how innovative his early ideas were, especially in Being and Time (a book so dense that might drive you to heavy drinking...). Nevertheless, it is interesting to see these biographical details as it explores details such as his early relationship to Husserl and Hanna Arendt.



By the way, if you can make your way through Heidegger's Being and Time and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, you can make your way through anything...
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